CAN A COUPLE RETIRE AND LIVE COMFORTABLY IN COTACACHI,
THE ANSWER IS A RESOUNDING YES!!!
ECUADOR ON AN
INCOME OF $1,000 OR LESS?
AND MAYBE MUCH LESS?
Cotacachi is a small mountain town located high in the Andes Mountains about two hours north of Quito – the capital of Ecuador. Although only a few miles from the Equador, the elevation of 7,800 feet gives the location a spring-like climate all year around. The dress is short sleeves during the day and maybe a light jacket or sweater in the evenings. There are two seasons – NOT COLD AND HOT - but rather rainy and dry. The rainy season starts about the first of November and goes through May. You get up in the morning to a bright sunny day. Usually after lunch, light fluffy clouds begin to form and by the middle of the afternoon there is a 15 or 30 minute light rain – almost every day – you can count on it. These small rains keep everything lush and beautiful. The dry season starts in June and goes through October. This is the season of warm sunny days with only a rain once every week or two weeks. However, this is enough to keep the mountains and vegetation green and beautiful. Many people wear hats and sun glasses during this time and walk on the shady side of the street.
And the cost of living is one of the real drawing cards to this area. You can buy a kilo of grass-fed beef hamburger for $3.00. Not a pound mind you – but a kilo – which is 2.2 pounds. That comes out to $1.36 a pound. And it is so fat free that you have to add oil to your pan when cooking so it does not burn. You can go the market on Sunday (market day) and buy enough fruits and vegetables and meat for $10.00 to $15.00 or so – to last you all week. You can buy ten to fifteen bananas for a quarter, a huge head of broccoli or cauliflower for fifty to seventy cents or a large head of Chinese cabbage (great for salads) for fifty cents.
And restaurants – how about filet mignon steak served with salad, potatoes and a drink for less than $10.00. Wine runs $2.00 to $4.00 per glass, or $8.00 per bottle at the grocery store for a good red or white wine from Argentina or Chile. You can eat breakfast (in Spanish – desayuno) for $1.50 to $2.00, lunch ( almuerzo) for 2.00 to $2.50 and dinner (cena) for $3.00 to $6.00. With lunch – you get a glass of juice, the house plate special which is a meat entree, usually two salads and potatoes, plus dessert – everything included.
All the current restaurants are featured in THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO LIVING AND RETIRING IN COTACACHI, ECUADOR. Addresses are given – telephone numbers, hours open, types of menus and prices.
Housing – recently there was a small apartment advertised (August, 2012) for $90.00. There are also a number of hostals that offer clean rooms with private bath, TV, hot water and sometimes includes breakfast for $10.00 - $18.00 per person with discounted rates for weekly and monthly stays. And if you decide to stay and want to buy a house – fully furnished condominiums go for $70,000 and up. The author is currently purchasing a second house for $61,000 – a two bedroom, two bath – 1284 square feet, with a porch and outdoor courtyard. We are planning on an additional $15,000 to $20,000 for upgrades, appliances and furniture. A brand new spacious house for around $80,000.
THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO LIVING AND RETIRING IN ECUADOR HAS 195 JAM-PACKED PAGES ABOUT EVERYING FROM WHERE TO GET $3.00 HAIRCUTS TO BUYING A WEEK’S WORTH OF MEAT AND VEGETABLES FOR $15.00 OR LESS. THERE ARE 127 FULL COLOR PHOTOGRAPHS OF HOSTALS, HOTELS, PHARMACIES, HARDWARE STORES, BUSINESS AND MEDICAL TRANSLATORS, HOSPITALS, CLINICS AND MUCH MORE. THERE IS ALSO COMPLETE INFORMATION ON ATTORNEYS THAT DO REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS AND APPLICATIONS FOR RESIDENCY AS WELL AS A NUMBER OF REALTORS AND MANY LISTINGS FOR HOUSES, BUILDING LOTS, FARMS AND BUSINESSES.
THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO LIVING AND RETIRING IN COTACACHI, ECUADOR also contains complete information of how to obtain residency, the different types of residency, the income requirements and names and telephone numbers of experienced people to assist you.
Should you rent or buy? The majority of opinion says it is better to visit and rent first – get the “lay of the land” – and see if you would like to live in a small mountain town of 8,000 people. The author and his wife checked many internet sites, gathering information about Ecuador and particularly Cotacachi. We made arrangements over the internet to rent a house for three months. We flew down and fell in love with Cotacachi. We had planned to visit some of the coastal cities and also Cuenca, but after six weeks in Cotacachi, we purchased a two bedroom, two bath condominium in the heart of this quaint little town and we’ve never been happier.
THE COMPLETE GUIDE OF LIVING AND LIVING AND RETIRING IN COTACACHI, ECUADOR also gives complete information – names and internet addresses and telephone numbers of people to contact regarding both rentals and purchases of real estate in Cotacachi. What to expect in the way of monthly rental amounts, legal documents, commissions and other costs on real estate purchases. How to find and look at rental properties, how to make an offer to buy a house (it is different than in the U.S. or Canada). And what about Title Insurance? All your legal questions are answered in this Guide.
ECUADOR SHOULD BE IN THE
TOP SPOT OF YOUR RETIREMENT DESTINATION LIST
Ecuador is a great country – about the size of Nevada and has a population of 14 million people. Spanish is the official language spoken by 94 percent of the population. Cotacachi lies in the northern part of Ecuador about two hours north of Quito in a valley between two beautiful extinct volcanoes – Mt. Cotacachi and Mt. Imbabura. The cost of living is very affordable, the scenery unbeatable, the climate fabulous, and the inhabitants very friendly.
Ecuador has a politically stable government under President Rafael Correa and his new constitution. The currency is the American dollar, so there are no problems with currency conversion. You can walk anywhere in Cotacachi – day or night without fear. This is a laid back kind of life – many of the local inhabitants are self employed. Many of the cities in Ecuador specialize in a particular craft or skill. In Cotacachi, it is leather – in fact Cotacachi is known as the “Leather Capital” of Ecuador. The main street is lined with retail stores selling everything leather – from boots and shoes to belts, hats, jackets, purses, brief cases and on and on. Everything you have ever seen in leather is probably available in Cotacachi.
And the crime rate is very low. There is almost no violent crime such as robbery, murder, rape, etc. Any crime that happens is usually “opportunity crime.” For instance if you forget your camera in a restaurant, it will probably be gone when you return.
AND YOU CAN OWN YOUR OWN BUSINESS IN COTACACHI – a number of expats have started their own businesses – for example Nancy and Wendy each have opened restaurants, Jack and Eileen have opened a laundry (really filled a need in Cotacachi), Terri has opened a second hand store, Dan has opened a book store and Diane has an interior decorating consulting business. You must be aware of one important law when going into business and that is detailed in THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO LIVING AND RETIRING IN COTACACHI, ECUADOR.
HEALTH INSURANCE IS INEXPENSIVE AND AVAILABLE THROUGH SEVERAL INSURERS IN ECUADOR. Also Ecuadorian Social Security is available to expats – regardless of age. For a small premium (Currently $68/month/each), you get free check-ups, blood tests and hospital and doctor care throughout Ecuador. Also medicines are free. Although some of the specialty medicines may not be available – most of the blood pressure, cholesterol and anti-anxiety medicines are available in Cotacachi. And THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO LIVING AND RETIRING IN COTACACHI, ECUADOR has a complete listing of the hospitals, clinics and Social Security facilities in Ecuador as well as a listing of the pharmacies, local doctors specialists, etc. And purchasing medicines is different in Cotacachi – you don’t need a doctor’s prescription for renewals.
It is all detailed in THE COMPLETE GUIDE OF LIVING AND RETIRING IN COTACACHI, ECUADOR.
This Guide is the quickest route for enjoying the good life in Cotacachi, Ecuador. With all the problems in the United States and the rest of the world such as the high prices of gas, groceries and social unrest, etc., Ecuador is the greatest example of a tranquil, safe haven and has the absolutely best of everything of retirement living you deserve. By the way – very few expats own cars – another huge savings. We walk everywhere – to the markets, hardware stores, restaurants etc. Just about everyone who moves to Cotacachi is healthier after a few months than they were in the U.S. There are also a number of gyms feturing aerobatics, exercise machines and weights. Yoga classes are also available. Here is another example of the difference in cost of living standards - we had to call a plumber to repair inadequate water pressure in one of the condos. He checked all the connections, the water heater, cleaned the faucets and checked the entire system – spending three hours on this job. His fee – a paltry $43.00 – this for an experience plumber with his own truck and all his tools. The cost in the U.S. – probably $200 - $500. You couldn’t even get someone out to look at the problem for less than a hundred dollars.
And the climate is outstanding – Cotacachi is just a few miles from the Equator – yet at an elevation of 7,800 feet – high in the beautiful Andes Mountains – the temperature rarely goes above 80 degrees. In fact, sometimes it gets so warm that you have to walk on the shady side of the street. Most days you can go out in short sleeves – and at night wear a light jacket or sweater. And there is Satellite Cable Television available as well as high speed internet – so you can stay in touch with family and friends. And with Skype or Magic Jack, you can even see your family and friends as you talk to them.
It’s all included in THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO LIVING AND RETIRING IN COTACACHI, ECUADOR – a comprehensive book of 185 pages and 165 full color photos.